Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool has two cathedrals – the Anglican one and the Metropolitan (Roman Catholic) cathedral. Both were built in the twentieth century. The Metropolitan Cathedral is a 1960s/1970s piece of mo0dern art and is a fascinating piece of architecture – though not exactly my idea of a place of worship.

The Anglican Cathedral, built between 1904 and 1978, is described as "an awesome, spectacular, beautiful building and yet also a vibrant living church attempting to live the Christian Gospel; a community of daily prayer and worship; a home to great art and music with our 60 boy and girl choristers and now with exciting, new visitor facilities." I’m not sure that I agree.

Cathedrals of enormous proportions that were built in the twelfth century are awesome. How people with such comparatively primitive measuring facilities and scaffolding and so on could erect such magnificent buildings is truly awe-inspiring. That such a building could be erected in the twentieth century is much less so. It is too gloomy and chunky to merit the description beautiful – even the sandstone carved figures lack any elegance. The windows are mostly uninspiring though there are one or two that I really like.

One question I have never managed to solve is why the creators of major pieces of architecture – such as the cathedral – end up hiding some of the things they have created. For example, the window at the East end is partially hidden by the altar. Why do they do that?


  1. Well, I'd say that you've captured some very nice shots. It appears a, sort of, cold welcoming though. It makes me wonder if that same feeling is what a visitor would recieve in attending a service....

    I see your point made with the way they describe the church.

  2. Great photos and a very interesting post altogether.

  3. Wonderful photos! Another pull towards England! Oh, I want to visit again!
    I remember the Cathedral in York (don't remember the name, but at the time had the largest stained-glass window in the world!) And UNDER the cathedral were Roman ruins. Amazing. The history that pervades even the air in your country is amazing---it's continuously palpable!


Comments are always welcome.